Here are some highlights from the last month or so to bring you up to speed on what’s been happening with us as well as what we believe God has shown us to this point, regarding our future plans.
Visitors & Explorers: The last two months have been chalk full of guests. Our first visitors were our friends Daniel and Janette Carter who are serving in Ukraine. Daniel pastors the Calvary in Vinnytsia and brought his wife Janette on a surprise anniversary trip to see us as well as some of the local sites of Greece. The following week our friends Matt and Dianna Kottman who are serving in the U.K. came out to visit Greece and us as well. Matt pastors the Calvary in Leatherhead. Finally, we hosted David Ball, pastor of CC Kaiserslautern, Germany and his worship leader Geoff Ankeney. The two of them came out on an exploratory trip in preparation for a future short-term team later this year. I (Frank) spent time showing them around and connecting them with a couple of the refugee ministries in the city that we work with. Pastor David is considering doing a medical type mission. We are excited to see connections being made for more ministry among Calvary Chapel here in Greece. Needless to say we enjoyed the fellowship of each of our guests and were extremely blessed to have them in our home.
Media Projects: As we’ve mentioned previously we completed the CD project that we worked on for the last couple of years. As a reminder it is the Greek version of “How Can A Man Be Born Again” by Chuck Smith, and two songs by Scott Cunningham translated and recorded in Greek. It was a joy to see this through to completion and now we are waiting for the finished product to arrive via mail. When we return from our furlough we will begin their distribution to several Greek ministries here on the mainland, as well as to the Calvary church planters serving on Crete, and to CC Paphos on Cyprus. Praying for the Lord to use this simple tool to reach many with the gospel of Christ. In addition to the CD we are continuing to work through the hard copy publishing of “Why Grace Changes Everything.” Lord willing we will be able to complete it while in the States and begin its distribution when we return.
Pastors & Leaders Conference: God opened the door for me to attend the Winter CC European Pastors & Leaders conference at the castle in Austria the first week of February. I was able to bring a brother and friend named Arno along. We’ve mentioned he and his wife Sahar in past updates. They are the ones leading the Farsi speaking fellowship that I taught the gospel of John at last year. Since then Arno and I have been developing our relationship and I felt led to bring him along seeing his need to be encouraged in the word for a week among other brothers. I can really see God’s hand on him and knew that he is one who is always giving but not having much chance to rest. He really enjoyed the week and was blessed by the exposure to verse-by-verse teaching. Since then I have begun to work with him a bit to learn how to teach through scripture in the Calvary style. Since returning from the conference Arno has begun to teach through Galatians verse-by-verse after concluding the former series at the Farsi Fellowship on Friday nights. Sean Coleman, a Calvary missionary serving on Crete, was also able to join us for the week. He has been getting greater opportunities to minister among a group of Romanians and has begun to co-pastor their small church as well as lead an English service on Sunday mornings. It was a blessing to spend time with these men and the rest of the brothers serving in Europe who were able to make it. I was able to fellowship with many whom I’ve known for years, spend time with one of my pastors from the States, as well as get to know some new brothers. I returned home very refreshed and challenged and am grateful to the Lord for this time away.
Medical Day: We were asked to serve again at our friend Sahar’s Medical Day that she leads, along with the staff of Helping Hands. Suzie and I once again did the “healthy, cheap & simple” cooking demonstration. This time around we taught the Afghans to make the ever favorite, quesadilla and also helped out with whatever else popped up. Blessed time using our culinary skills for the Lord!
Future Plans: In our last update we wrote about putting our plans to begin ministry in England on hold and stepping back to continue praying in light of a significant visa issue that arose for many of the American Calvary Chapel missionaries and pastors serving in the U.K. Since then the situation has gotten better. Bob and Jeanne Claycamp were just awarded new three-year visas after reapplying under new sponsorship. The new sponsor should be able to cover most of those in need serving in the UK and possibly a few new ones. We’re not completely certain yet how this will affect us, but trust that the Lord will make a way if He is indeed leading us in that direction. Since stepping back due to the uncertainty of the situation we believe that the Lord has simply told us to keep praying and He would make His will for us clear. The pastoral leadership from our supporting churches are being very supportive of our situation and along with several of our fellow missionary pastors serving in Europe have encouraged us to be transparent with you all about where we are in our decision making process, and to ask for your prayers. We are continuing to ask the Lord to both open the right door for us and to show us which door to walk through. In short we are asking if we should stay in Greece and put church planting back on the front burner, continue moving forward to begin ministry in England, or whether there is another direction that He has not yet shown us. In recent weeks we believe that God made it clear to us through specific scriptures and through a couple of prophetic words given to us by another CC pastor and friend. One of the main things He said was that we are to wait on Him and He will show us. In Acts 16 when Paul hit a roadblock he stopped and prayed until the Lord answered him. So with that we do ask that you continue to pray with us that God would speak and make His way clear. We know that He is not playing a shell game with us, nor hiding His will. Instead we trust that His timing is perfect and what seems to be a delay by human terms is simply the unfolding of His plan according to His providence. The most exciting part of all of this is that He has indeed been speaking to us. Now we shall wait for the Lord to show us clearly what it all means.
Furlough Plans: Our furlough plans have remained the same. We leave Greece on March 3 to fly back to California and will return to Europe on May 26. We will be staying in Huntington Beach with some dear friends but will also do a bit of traveling around the state at different times. While stateside we look forward to times of fellowship with our supporting churches, hope to serve the Lord through sharing about our ministry and experiences on the field, exhort and encourage the body of Christ for missions in general and teach the word in various ways. Some opportunities to minister through the word have already been given to us that we are looking forward to. Together we pray that our ten years of overseas ministry will allow us to be an encouragement to those who are considering missions or to those who desire to serve the Lord in any capacity. As we have discovered the many peaks and valleys within ministry we hope to be able to pass on some of what we’ve learned to others to help them along on their journeys.
PRAYER & SUPPORT INFORMATION
The greatest way that you can get behind our ministry is to join in the battle through prayer. Please consider the following urgent needs:
MEDIA PROJECTS: That the CD’s of, How Can a Man Be Born Again, would arrive safely to us. Also that we would be able to start the hard copy publishing of, Why Grace Changes Everything. Our prayer is that God would use both of these resources to reach people with the gospel and to build the body of Christ.
FURLOUGH MARCH 3-MAY 26TH: That God would bless our time, open doors to share about the work, give opportunities to teach and grant us times of rich fellowship. Also pray for Frank as he has been asked to teach some classes at CC South Bay for their school of discipleship. Please pray that we would accomplish all that we need to during this time.
FUTURE PLANS: That God would give us patient hearts to wait on Him, ears to hear His voice, and faith to act on what we hear.
PROVISION: Thankful God has been providing abundantly more than what we can ask or think! He has provided for our housing and transportation for our entire furlough and we know He will cover every need we have while stateside. Please continue to pray for every need to be met both in ministry and personally and that He would bless those churches supporting us!
HEALTH: Suzie has been having some hip pain in her lower back and left leg. It seems to have something to do with her nerves and it may be associated with the healing process from the back surgery. Please pray for healing and wisdom. Also that we both would stay healthy, especially during our stateside visit!!
SUZIE’S GERMAN CITIZENSHIP: Pray for Suzie’s German citizenship to be certified soon as it will eliminate our need for a visa to live within any EU country.
If you are a church or an individual and would like to learn about partnering with us financially with either a one time gift or regular monthly support you can visit our “Becoming A Sender“ page by following the link.
Thank you for standing in the gap with us!
Frank & Suzie